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Gasperini hails Atalanta’s ‘extraordinary’ 3-0 win over Juventus

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Even Atalanta manager Gian Piero Gasperini was taken by surprise from his side’s shocking 3-0 Coppa Italia quarter-final win over Juventus.

La Dea produced, arguably, one of the biggest surprises of the season by knocking out cup holders Juventus 3-0 at Bergamo.

The result was all the more impressive given that Juventus had fielded a strong starting line-up on Wednesday, which even featured star forwards Cristiano Ronaldo and Paulo Dybala.

But Atalanta didn’t lose their cool against this star-studded team in front of their home supporters and went on to play some exciting football in the process.

Timothy Castagne put Gasperini’s side in the lead in the 37th-minute after dispossessing Joao Cancelo and slotting into the bottom corner.

Duvan Zapata then made it 2-0 for Atalanta six minutes before half-time and sealed the victory with a second goal late on.

“Something extraordinary happened this evening, seeing as even the most optimistic fan could not have foreseen such a victory,” Gasperini told Rai Sport.

“We met Juve quite a few times and only ever got draws, so it was tough to even hope for a 3-0 result. It’s immensely satisfying, as doing this against Juventus gives it even more significance.

“I could not have asked for more and I don’t just mean the result, but also the passion, the style of football, the quality. People think Atalanta just run hard and that’s it, but there’s more to it.”

Colombian forward Zapata has enjoyed a sensational campaign with Atalanta and he’s now found the net 17 times in his last 10 games.

“He is a fantastic centre-forward and doing extraordinary things. If he continues like this, he’ll be considered among the top strikers in Europe,” said Gasperini on Zapata.

Next up for Atalanta will be a trip to Cagliari on Monday in a Serie A match, where they will hope to use their win against Juventus as a platform to improve on their seventh-place in the standings.

Gasperini’s side are just three points adrift of fourth-place AC Milan in the final Champions League qualification spot.